Sunset Music Festival returns to Tampa this weekend, despite deaths, overdoses

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Sunset Music Festival returns to Tampa this weekend, a year after two young people died and dozens more were sent to hospitals.

The electronic dance music festival takes place on three stages adjacent to Raymond James Stadium. The festival runs from 3 pm to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. The festival brings two days of electronic dance music, which has a reputation for its drug culture.

In 2016, two people died from ecstasy overdoses and 57 people were taken to hospitals for treatment for drug, alcohol, and heat-related illnesses.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn has stated several times that he doesn’t think these types of events should be held on public property. The land is owned by the Tampa Sports Authority.

Tampa police and Tampa Fire Rescue are adding extra uniformed and undercover officers, drug-sniffing dogs and emergency staff for the concerts, as well as amnesty bins for people who want to throw out illegal drugs or anything else they shouldn’t have.

Nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital is also adding extra staff and supplies, in case of an increase in patients.

The City of Tampa, in a video posted to its Facebook page, warns, “If you bring drugs, you will be arrested.” The video also reminds concert goers to drink plenty of water to avoid heat exhaustion. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 80s on Saturday and Sunday.

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